About Permaculture

Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and perennial agricultural systems that mimics the relationships found in natural ecologies. It was first developed in the early 1960s and then theoretically developed by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren and their associates during the 1970s in a series of publications. — wikipedia.org

Central to permaculture are the three ethics which form the foundation for permaculture design: care for the earth, care for people, and fair share.

The Beacon Food Forest follows Permaculture methods while planting for the needs of a diverse community. We use the no-till method of sheet mulching to begin creating our beds and forest floor and use companion planting and guild techniques where plant functions are stacked and multiple for maximum health of the forest ecosystem. Our goal is to build and train a community to steward the land



The 12 Principles of Permaculture

Observe and Interact

Beauty is in the mind of the beholder
By taking the time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.

Catch and Store Energy

Make hay while the sun shines
By developing systems that collect resources when they are abundant, we can use them in times of need.

Obtain a yield

You can't work on an empty stomach
Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the working you are doing.

Apply Self Regulation and Accept Feedback

The sins of the fathers are visited on the children of the seventh generation
We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well. Negative feedback is often slow to emerge.

Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services

Let nature take its course
Make the best use of nature's abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.

Produce No Waste

Waste not, want not or A stitch in time saves nine
By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.

Design From Patterns to Details

Can't see the forest for the trees
By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.

Integrate Rather Than Segregate

Many hands make light work
By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.

Use Small and Slow Solutions

Slow and steady wins the race or The bigger they are, the harder they fall
Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and produce more sustainable outcomes.

Use and Value diversity

Don't put all your eggs in one basket
Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.

Use Edges and Value the Marginal

Don't think you are on the right track just because it's a well-beaten path
The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.

Creatively Use and Respond to Change

Vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be
We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing and then intervening at the right time.